In The Shadow of Lions

27 02 2009
The cover for the book In The Shadow of Lions

The cover for the book In The Shadow of Lions

Author: Ginger Garrett

Pages: 311

Published: 2008

ISBN: 9780781448871

“Tomorrow someone else will die in my bed.

Someone died in it last month, which is how it came to be called mine”

A cynical, bitter editor with a troubled past is tasked with recording the story of two women: one a virtuous lady in waiting, the other soiled and desperate. However, this is no ordinary story and neither is the one recounting it. The supernatural Scribe, tells from an ancient book lost through history the events surrounding the Reformation in England, focusing specifically on the stories of Anne Boleyn and Rose (a street woman) through the eyes of one who can see and record all for God’s purpose and pleasure.  Not only does the book concentrate on Anne and Rose but the haunted memories of the editor herself, as Anne and Rose’s stories unravel the Scribe forces this editor to face her past…

Breaking the mold on the many “Anne Boleyns” in historical fiction, Ginger Garrett’s In the Shadow of Lions casts Anne as a woman striving to stay true to God’s word. Rather than depicting a power hungry, manipulative witch as some have done in many publications, THIS Anne is swept away by the power and insistence of King Henry VIII while she attempts to protect her integrity, and the wish to do more in a world powered by men. Garrett’s reinvention of the infamous Anne Boleyn characterisation seems to falter in parts, with the portrayal of such a God fearing young women set in such a religious hard line time, it’s hard to believe such a timid, mousey Anne could hold the interest of a “lion” King.

The world is created in such a way that the reader cannot choose sides, but as the characters’ lives falter at King’s demands, compromises become vital.  Thomas More tortures those who read the earliest form of the English Bible in order to protect the Roman Catholic church while his house servant Rose, Anne Boleyn, and his own daughter seek to know God better through the words of this forbidden book. The events surrounding the Reformation are dark and violent as many Christians pay with their lives to bring the word of God to light.

Through the portrayal of history’s somewhat complex and deeply flawed men, the reader begin to find the differences between King Henry and Thomas More.  Garret’s juxtaposition of these two characters shows the kind, gentle and charitable nature of Sir Thomas More even through his harsh acts of torture of those who oppose the church, while King Henry VIII is arrogant and spoilt.  Each character is portrayed as human and very believable, and the cast together creates the haunting tale that is In the Shadow of Lions.

With history in her favour this book will have the reader gasping for more with each page.  The first of the Chronicles of the Scribe series, this book is for the reader who has a taste for period pieces.  The religious antics woven in this novel were not for my Atheist taste but still had me marvelling at her plot and characterisation of some of history’s most influential people.

I give it 5 out of 10

[ED: Personally I’d give it a 7 out of 10, I found it well written and the character well developed. I didn’t care too much for the historical setting, or the fact that there is not much closure in this, the first of a series of books, but otherwise it was good.]

Buy In The Shadow Of Lions

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One response

27 02 2009
Kelly

Kelly: ” Mike Read more historical Fiction…” hahahahhahahahahha

Its a 5-7 split….

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